• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

'Consider the character of Lady Macbeth. How far was she instrumental in Macbeth's downfall? What advice would you give to someone playing the part?'

Extracts from this document...


'Consider the character of Lady Macbeth. How far was she instrumental in Macbeth's downfall? What advice would you give to someone playing the part?' At the time when this play was written, Lady Macbeth will have stood out as an unusual, almost evil character, receiving much criticism from the audience. We can observe the part she played in Macbeth's downfall to be a contributing factor, though must remember the witches and his own ambitions were also very instrumental. When considering her influence it is necessary to carefully plan advice for an actress playing this The first time we meet Lady Macbeth is when she is reading the letter Macbeth sent her. In her first few lines she states: 'Thou shalt have what thou art promised'1 This shows us that she is very determined for her husband's success. In this initial soliloquy we also learn of her murderous intentions for this plan and the fact that she pre-judges her husband not to be capable of such an act. We quickly learn of her links with the supernatural as she invites evil spirits to 'unsex' her - to take away her womanliness and replace it with pure evil. Despite our previous ideas of her as being a pleasant, stereotypical hero's wife, she is definitely not the innocent lady striving for the greater glory of her husband. ...read more.


Lady Macbeth was definitely very instrumental in this murder, however for the murders of Banquo and the Macduff's she was 'innocent to the deed' and did not contribute towards Macbeth's downfall. Many people argue that Lady Macbeth was very influential in what followed Macbeth's first visit to the witches and his gradual corruption, obsession with murder and eventual failure, madness and death. This is because she was the domineering person in their relationship who persuaded her husband initially to murder. However, if he had not murdered Duncan would the fate have happened? I think that even if she had not been so 'evil' and influential, - as we know from her character - Macbeth, having spoken to the witches would not have been able to ignore the prophecies. We already know from Lady Macbeth's analytical soliloquy of him pre-murder that ambition was very powerful for him. I think that having involved himself once in supernaturalism, if Lady Macbeth had not persuaded him to kill the king so rapidly, he would have returned to the witches and his downfall and corruption would have been inevitable. As the couple grow apart we see how Lady Macbeth is no longer important to him and this outlines the fact that he had this 'seed', she only nurtured it, though it probably would've slowly grown anyway. ...read more.


These gives an outward appearance of them as being loving couples whereas the reality is that their relationship was quite tense and non-existent from act three onwards. One of the ways in which Macbeth told his wife to cover up their evil was: 'Look like th'innocent flower, but be the serpent under't'7 Overall, My main piece of advice to Lady Macbeth would be to enhance the drama of her character for the time and the contrasts between her on her own and with her husband; Therefore enhancing the reality and appearance of her character. In conclusion, I would say that Lady Macbeth's character was evil, though with some compassion and will have shocked audiences of the time. She helped start Macbeth with his downfall but it was really down to his ambition and links with the supernatural. Because of this insignificant, yet important part she plays I would advises an actress/producer to enhance the ideas of the blood imagery and sleep and the appearance and reality them within the play as we as promoting the various morals and ideas that are unravelled within Macbeth. 1 Act 1 scene 5 lines 13-14 2 Act 3 scene 2 lines 6-7 3 Act 2 scene 2 line 13 4 Act 1 scene 5 line 15 5 Act 1 scene 5 line 25 6 Act 1 scene 7 line 31 7 Act 1 scene 5 line 74 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Macbeth section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Macbeth essays

  1. A classical tragedy tells the story of the downfall of a great man.

    The foul potion they concoct at the beginning of the scene emphasizes the evilness of the witches. A huge atmosphere us created by all the evil components of this terrifying potion. A very interesting line is, "By the pricking of my thumbs, Something wicked this way comes..."

  2. macbeth- appearance vs reality

    It is easy to see how the character of Macbeth is transformed from trustworthy and good-willed to become disloyal and treacherous. We know he was a trustworthy and honourable man because he helped the King's army in the battle; therefore it was very shocking to find out he committed a murder.

  1. Was Duncan a weak king? In the time of Shakespeare maybe not, but in ...

    A king should be fierce and strong and fight well in battle, someone that his subjects look up to too give them a boost in moral. A final flaw in Duncan's personal qualities is his gullibility. Macbeth wanted to become king after fighting for Duncan heroically in battle but Duncan

  2. Lady Macbeth's Character in Macbeth.

    For example, he remembers his meeting with the witches, the notion of murder for the sake of power fills him with fear. "If good, why do I yield to that a suggestion whose horrid image doth unfix my hair And make my seated heart knock out my rooms."

  1. 'Macbeth' gives us a classic example of the literary definition of a 'tragic hero'. ...

    Scotland is an ill and diseased country, and the only cure is the death of its king, Macbeth. Ross' purpose there is to inform Macduff of the slaughter of his wife and son by Macbeth. He is enraged, and calls King Macbeth 'this fiend of Scotland'.

  2. To what extent is Macbeth wholly responsible for his ruin, which destroys not only ...

    The quote portrays the scenes of anarchy and chaos in Scotland. Macbeth causes distress for Malcolm and Donalbain at their loss of a father; and thus a threat to their lives 'Hid in an auger-hole may rush and seize us?

  1. Analyse the Macbeth's marriage during the play, and explain why and how it changed

    This is quite outrageous as once again she is suggesting she will carry out the murder on Duncan, instead of Macbeth performing the deed. The personnel pronoun "my" implies this. In the time of James I it was considered that the wives of Thanes, Earls and Princes spent their days pondering on how to get more powerful, and ultimately Queen.

  2. What part does Lady Macbeth play in Macbeth's downfall?

    It gives her high hopes and makes her very ambitious. When she sees Macbeth she persuades him to kill the king because she wants Macbeth to be king. This could be for any number of reasons, such as she loves her husband so she wants to support him and she wants him to be something.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work